SynopsisBalak has finally got Balaam to come, even though he has vowed to only say what the LORD commands him to say. When we last left them, in the last passage, they were at a spot where Balaam could look out and see a portion of the Israelites.
Understandably, Balak is not happy with this oracle. In verse 11 he says “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!” But Balaam answers that he is only able to speak what the LORD puts in his mouth.
So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the princes of Moab. Then Balaam uttered his oracle:
“Balak brought me from Aram,
the king of Moab from the eastern mountains.
‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me;
come, denounce Israel.’
How can I curse
those whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce
those whom the LORD has not denounced?
From the rocky peaks I see them,
from the heights I view them.
I see a people who live apart
and do not consider themselves one of the nations.
Who can count the dust of Jacob
or number the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous,
and may my end be like theirs!”